Prison Incarceration

1850 Words 8 Pages
Due to the seemingly inherent levels of corruption in American prisons, creating an ideal prison free from any flaws would be an ambitious undertaking. From dehumanizing practices such as solitary confinement to regular correctional officer and inmate abuse, deep issues buried behind concrete walls would need to be uprooted. However, the prison system in Norway gives incarceration an entirely new meaning and redefines our perception of jail. With inmates living seemingly normal lives in a pleasant and helpful environment, even Norway’s high security prison is often called “luxurious.” Norwegian correctional facilities are one of the most successful prison systems in the world, with success that is quantitatively measurable and meaningful. Through …show more content…
Frequently exploited in media as one that entails abuse, the dynamic between a correctional officer and an inmate has never been easy to fix. However, for Norway’s many prisons, the relationship, along with every other aspect of prison life, follows the helpful and rehabilitating narrative. For the Norwegian penal system, the prison guards share the same goals as the rest of the staff: creating peaceful units that prioritizes the safety of both the inmates and the guards. (Ibsen) After undergoing two years at an officer’s academy, the well-trained officials are prepared and ready for the job. Their purpose, as noted in the official job description, is to motivate the inmates so their sentences are as “meaningful, enlightening and rehabilitating” as possible. (Times) The mindset of the guards is set from the beginning, and is thought to “directly influence the prison’s moral climate” as well as the prisoner’s own experience. (Johnsen, et al) Their work focuses on social care in addition to simple guarding and upkeep. Much of their job is balancing security and control with care-related tasks. With the guards constantly interacting with the inmates and by allowing them helpful and invigorating resources, a certain level of trust must be achieved. A high-level of trust is what Norway has found to be the most successful element of the inmate-guard relationship, and without it, destructive behaviors can ensue. Studies have found that prisons with the lowest levels of trust are of the poorest quality, and on the other hand, prisons with the highest levels of trust are the most rehabilitating. (Johnsen, et al) This relationship is a balancing act for guards working for the Norwegian penal system, but through earning trust and interacting positively within prisoner’s lives the relationship is made to be healthy. Governor Arne Wilson of the

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